Happy book birthday to Damien Walters Grintalis! Her debut novel, Ink, from Samhain Publishing hits bookstores today. Damien Walters Grintalis lives in Maryland with her husband, two former shelter cats, and two rescued pit bulls. She is an Associate Editor of the Hugo Award-winning magazine, Electric Velocipede, and her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @dwgrintalis.
When did you first recognize yourself as a writer?
When I was in grade school, I wrote a few illustrated books and tried to sell them to the kids in the neighborhood. I’m certain I called myself a writer then, but I didn’t feel like a real writer until I started selling my work.
What draws you to speculative fiction?
I like the what-if of speculative fiction. It’s an immense playground of possibility limited only by a writer’s imagination.
Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?
I do my best not to follow the bad advice.
In the March 2011 issue of Niteblade included your story, “Running Empty in a Land of Decay”. Is there a story behind how it came about?
The folks at Shock Totem hold a prompted flash fiction contest several times a year. One of the prompts was a pair of shoes, tied together via the laces, hanging over a power line, but what struck me most about the photo was the emptiness of the street and the houses lining it.
And from the strange dark little place where stories come from, I envisioned a man running down the center of the street and the echoes of his footfalls in the quiet. From there, the story just grew.
What have you been working on lately?
I recently finished edits for my agent on another novel called Paper Tigers, the first draft of yet another one called This Delicate Poison, and I’m working on a few new short stories.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?
If you read a story you like, tell someone. Recommend it to a friend. Spread the word. And if you’re a writer? Read the guidelines. Then read them again, just to be sure.